Monday, June 25, 2012

Accepting my niche

a little background. I have been making jewelry for over 10 years now. Always making custom pieces for friends for events, or with their kids names, husband's names, mother's names. And since there are tons of designers that do this sort of thing, i tried to keep it to a minimum. not really promoting or advertising that aspect of my designs.

BUT after doing a small craft show recently where close to 60% of my sales were custom orders. Not just adjustments in length or size. Pure custom. One mother wanted her daughters name on 2 disc one with her name in Greek the other in English.  Another wanted "αγάπη" ( the greek word for pure love) And her sons name. Never thought of doing that

 Lesson 1: I foolishly thought that with a table full of beautiful pieces i would only have a couple of custom orders. I had so many by the end of the weekend, that i didnt remember specific conversations about the clients wants. Which was lesson learned, write down all the requests at the the time of the order. Had I only had one or 2 as i thought i would of remembered. But with over 10, i didnt.

Lesson 2:  I didnt take a phone number for all the custom orders only emails. I get my email on my phone, its second nature, its my business. It has become routine. I forget that not everyone is that way. So when one customer did not respond to 3 emails i was in a panic that they would not get their item in time ( it was a custom bangle for a end of year teacher gift, teacher stamped in Greek)

Lesson 3: accept my niche.I am starting to embrace it, with this post and a new listing on my website here. So im starting out  by listing initial pendants, in greek and/or english. And an initial & zodiac symbol.

more listings to come!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Breaking Up with Earrings

In a recent New York Times Thursday Style section, there was an article about breaking up with clothing brands.  Some of the people cited in the article stopped wearing a certain brand because their lifestyles outgrew it or the brand changed its image or the brand just didn’t suit their bodies anymore.  I read the piece and instantly identified with the sentiment, as I’m sure most women could at some point in their life.

My experience with this has been more about a perceived quality level as opposed to a specific brand or store.  I’ve never been a short/tight/low-cut kind of gal so I haven’t had to worry about maturing out of a type of clothing.  But after I got to a certain point in my career, it felt unseemly to be walking around in inexpensive synthetics or poorly made brands.  My company gave me a title and salary so I needed to look like I could command respect (even if I couldn't really).

I’ve had more of a “maturing out of” experience with jewelry – specifically earrings.  I used to love big, long, dangling earrings, and the bigger the better.   I’ve always had longish hair and I loved the look of the earrings dancing the can-can while my hair served as the velvet curtains behind them.  I always thought such earrings were a bit coquette-ish, a subtle come hither, if you will.   In hindsight, I think its safe to say that scant few straight men have ever noticed a women’s earrings, let alone attributed any message to them.  I may have perceived long earrings to be the jewelry equivalent of footwear's “FMPs” (F*#k Me Pumps), but I’m probably alone there. 

I will still go as long as 2 or so inches, but only if they are exquisitely crafted with a sleek refined look.  My two current favs from Fotini Jewelry Designs:
Long, but sleek and refined.
Longish but not overpowering and goes with everything.

Still, even if it is only in my head, here are some of the beautiful earrings I no longer feel comfortable wearing.  I love the look of these babies below, but to me they are like stilettos for the ears – best saved for a woman interested in the attention they attract and the statement they make. (This first gorgeous pair below is, no joke, over 3" long!!)
Gorgeous, but like a stilleto for the ear.
Also, lovely but very very busy.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Behind the curtain.

This is a quick peek at my work space. In the middle/end of prepping for a 3 day even next week. And samples for the Atlanta gift show with a new partner the Bloom Showroom.

So this pic is how i work now. I used to work on a peice of bounty. Bc i liked the white background to best color match stones. It made for good clean up of scraps and the junk that piles up while making jewelry. Also is why i never liked any of those beading trays. Or those utility trays with the black or grey velvet pads. It was also an easy way to jot notes on the project im working on.

But the things rolled off the paper towel, and difficult to keep a project that was incomplete and step away. More so now that i have my son around, i have to be able to leave a project in the middle for snack/diaper/water/attention needing/mommy&meclass breaks. Jotting down notes is the only way i can remember where to pick up.

Now i work on a white paper plate. For the same reasons as the paper towel. But with the plates i can separate projects and stack them up. Make room on my work space and shuffle trough projects when i have 10 minutes in between baby needs or a 2 hr nap ahead of me.
Usually there are pliers and flush cutters and a tape measure on hand. And of course notes....

Monday, May 21, 2012

Grunge Redux.....Really?

Remember this look:

8 hole lace up Doc Martins that you wear until the sole literally cracked and maybe a little after that. Toast of NY lipstick by Revlon.<-- Who knew they still make that color. Blue nail polish when Urban Decay was the only brand that made non "normal" colors. Yeah I'm talking about 1992 (maybe one day i'll post what i looked like then, not today kiddos). Marc Jacobs was the then fledgling designer that made this look high fashiony and expensive. I could never afford that to die for shrunken cashmere sweater for $1,200. I did buy the $60 J.Crew version and wear the sh*t out of it. although never got into the crochet beanies.

NO I'm not going through some weird nostalgia thing, although I do long for the days when 92.3 on the radio dial in NY was Krock and the sound of Jeremy was fresh and new.

WWD recently reported, you guessed it, the look is getting an Act II this fall. For Some reason I cant picture this generation of tweens buying v-neck Hanes t-shirts to layer under flannels. Or the oddly paired flower print rayon dress with combat boots (yeah i rocked that look too).  Considering back then this was the collection that simultaneously catapulted Marc Jacobs and got him fired. It will be interesting to see if in these hyper-stylized label conscious times the slumpy cardigans and the flannel shirts will take off. But when you think about it grunge grew in response to the glitsy glamy 80's. Maybe these designers are on to something ;). Get ready fall shoppers

although the me from 1993 would really want these: